In rent proceedings, the lessee/tenant is the only necessary or/and proper party and none else. A person, who claims through lessee/tenant, is not a necessary party, the bench held
The Supreme Court in Nandkishor Savalaram Malu vs. Hanumanmal G. Biyani, has held that when a partnership firm is the tenant, then an employee of the firm is not a necessary party to the eviction proceedings initiated by the landlord.
The bench comprising Justice AK Sikri and Justice AM Sapre held that such persons since claim through the firm, they have no right of their own in the tenancy and in the demised property qua landlord.
The trial court, though passed decree against the firm and its partners, found that no eviction decree can be passed against the employee of the partnership firm as he was in an unauthorised occupation of the suit house as a trespasser.
Liberty to file a separate suit against the employee was granted to the landlord.
On an appeal by landlord, the First Appellate Court held that being an employee of the firm, he was bound by the decree passed against the firm and its partners. The high court, exercising its revisional powers, restored the trial court order setting aside the First Appellate Court judgment.
The bench observed that it was not necessary for the landlord to have impleaded the employer of the firm in the present rent proceedings against the firm, which is the tenant. The court held that lessee/tenant is the only necessary or/and proper party and none else and a person, who claims through lessee/tenant, is not a necessary party.
The court further elaborated: “If the lessee/tenant is a living person, then in such event, the tenant would also include his legal representatives in the event of his death together with his dependents living with the tenant in the tenanted premises. Likewise, if the lessee/tenant is a juristic person, i.e., partnership firm then such tenant would represent the interest of all the partners of the firm and the employees working in the firm. Such persons since claim through the Firm, they have no right of their own in the tenancy and in the demised property qua landlord.”
Setting aside the high court judgment, the court said: “An employee of a tenant is never considered to be in actual possession of tenanted premises much less in possession in his legal right. Indeed, he is allowed to use the tenanted premises only with the permission of his employer by virtue of his contract of employment with his employer. An employee, therefore, cannot claim any legal right of his own to occupy or to remain in possession of the tenanted premises while in employment of his employer or even thereafter qua landlord for want of any privity of contract between him and the landlord in respect of the tenanted premises.”
Read the Judgment here.